Saturday, January 31, 2015

On sixth birthday, singing 'I'm Still Here'

When I looked back on my blog to this time last year to see what I had written about my important fifth birthday, or re-birthday, or transplant anniversary, I was surprised to find nothing.

I was having a hard time: hospitalization for urinary tract infection, toothache from hell, something suspicious on my lip, and tongue burning so severely that I had trouble eating. Still, I posted this song, which I sang this morning in my kitchen from a much better place.
There were so many times when I thought I wouldn't be here.

I look back on that horrific snowy night when I had relapsed that last time, when Diane was driving me to the hospital, and I slumped down in my seat and all I could say was, "I'm never going to see my grandchildren." I don't know why I picked that, because there were so many other things I thought I would not see. I guess it was my way of saying I would not have a future.

I remember one of my first appointments post-transplant when the kidney doctor told me he would see me in four months and I was surprised and also comforted that he thought I would live that long.

And now it's been six years.

Thank you Denise, thank you Dr. Alyea, Melissa and Dan (Dr. DeAngelo) and Mary Lou and the rest of Dana-Farber, thank you family and friends, thank you everyone!

This morning, I wasn't too happy that Maddie put her face on the edge of my bed and stared at me to get up early. But I am content now, looking out at my snow-covered back yard, drinking coffee from the "Tennis Nut" mug I gave my father and sitting across from a beautiful framed still life that my mother painted – a Lynne Gordon original.

Yellow tulips on the table, fruit in a bowl, and in a few minutes, blueberry pancakes that I am going to make for myself. A little more of the Australian Open left to watch. Last night, a fun tennis mixer with nice people and good pizza. Today, yoga, the New York Times and a good book. Friends and family to talk to later. A quick dog walk because it is in the single digits.

I so enjoyed singing "I'm Still Here" that I looked through YouTube and found another one, bringing back memories of a wonderful night when I went with my mother to see Elaine Stritch perform her one-woman show. This one's for you, Mom. I know you're around here someplace.

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